Sun Moon Lake is a large expanse of fresh water at the heart of a mountainous area rich in vegetation. Take a boat tour to trawl across Taiwan’s largest lake and see the island and other gems dotted around it. Follow trekking paths next to the lake that lead to various pagodas, temples and small villages worth investigating.
The lake covers an area of almost 2,000 acres (800 hectares) at an altitude of around 2,500 feet (760 metres). Rent a shuttle boat to move from one side to the other with your family and friends, taking in spectacular views of the mountains. You can also take a guided tour, which usually lasts about 2 hours. Traditionally, many couples visit the stunning setting for their wedding pictures.
Capture photos of the scenic hills that change colour depending on the time of day. The area is mesmerizing at sunrise and sunset, when the mountains seem to take on red and purple hues. The lake is quite busy during the afternoon and much calmer at dawn and dusk.
Cycle up to the Wen Wu Chao, which dates back to 1938, to the north of the lake. Admire the vermilion stone lions guarding the front plaza. Make your way to the Ita Thao to learn about the indigenous people. Take a boat ride past the tiny Lalu Island in the centre of the lake to walk among the trees. It is considered sacred by the Thao people.
Join thousands of revellers at the Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival in mid-autumn when a 3,000-metre swimming race takes place.
It is said that the lake is named Sun Moon because its western section resembles a moon, while the east depicts the sun. It was formerly known as Lake Candidius, after a 17th-century Dutch missionary.
Sun Moon Lake sits in the heart of the Nantou County region, between Hualien County and Changua County. It is just west of the Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village .